The Chicago Sky drafted University of Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard [HE-bird] with the eighth overall pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm®, which was held virtually this evening and aired on ESPN.
“We couldn’t be happier to be able to add Ruthy to the group that we already have,” Sky General Manager and Head Coach James Wade said. “She’s an awfully good player, who is efficient and extremely disciplined. She will bring a great energy to our already energetic and dynamic environment. We can’t wait to get her together with her new teammates.”
Starting in 141 out of 144 games for the Oregon Ducks, Hebard averaged 16.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game across her four collegiate seasons.
Hebard is the all-time NCAA record-holder for most consecutive field goals made (33) for men’s and women’s basketball. As a freshman, she led the Ducks in scoring with 14.9 points per game, while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor. By her junior year, Hebard had guided the Ducks to their first NCAA Tournament Final Four. A first-team All-American, Hebard is the Pac-12′s all-time leader in career field-goal percentage, with 65.1 percent.
“When I saw it was Chicago, I was super excited,” Hebard said in a media conference call following the Draft. “I talked to [Coach Wade] and he’s a great person and there are some really great players and people on the team, so I’m super excited.”
Originally born in Chicago, 6-foot-4 Hebard grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. Named to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, Hebard has tallied more career points (2,368), rebounds (1,299) and blocked shots (146) than any other NCAA Division I college basketball player from her hometown state.
“I was kind of thinking like, ‘Oh, [if] Chicago picked me, it would be so cool to not only play for a great team, but just to be able to see and learn a little more about Chicago, where I was born, and stuff like that,” Hebard said.
The Sky also held two third-round draft picks, selecting Japreece [juh-PREESE] Dean (No. 30 overall) and Kiah Gillespie (No. 32 overall).
Dean, an Austin, Texas native, is a 5-foot-7 guard out of the University of California, Los Angeles. She played three seasons for UCLA after transferring from Texas Tech University following her freshman year. Last season, she averaged 13.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 33.9 minutes per game.
Gillespie is a 6-foot-2 forward and graduate of Florida State. Her senior season, Gillespie led the team in scoring and rebounding, contributing 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. A native of Meriden, Connecticut, Gillespie’s senior-year performance led her to be named Top 10 in ACC play in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage (44.2) and defensive rebounds (5.7).